Cathedral's Money-Making Schemes Should Fill Us All with Shame. IS the Coventry Cathedral Allowing Too Many Commercial Events to Be Staged within Its Portals Which Have Little or Nothing to Do with Religion? VALERIE FLYNN, a Lecturer at a London University, Thinks It Does Believing It Amounts to "Desecration". YOUR Views

Coventry Evening Telegraph (England), June 13, 2011 | Go to article overview
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Cathedral's Money-Making Schemes Should Fill Us All with Shame. IS the Coventry Cathedral Allowing Too Many Commercial Events to Be Staged within Its Portals Which Have Little or Nothing to Do with Religion? VALERIE FLYNN, a Lecturer at a London University, Thinks It Does Believing It Amounts to "Desecration". YOUR Views


Byline: VALERIE FLYNN

"I HAVE spent most of my life in Coventry studying at local schools and colleges before gaining an MSc at the London School of Economics and then returning a few years later to study for a PhD at the University of Warwick.

Living and studying in the city has made me very proud of my Coventry heritage. I am prouder still of my Christian faith, which influences everything I do.

It is this which has prompted me to write to Your Life about the cathedral.

I am not a member of the congregation (though I've attended services as a visitor) nor am I acquainted with any of the cathedral managers.

Over the last few years, however, I have written to a number of senior clerics expressing my concern about the effects of the increasing commercialisation of cathedral activities.

Now, I am putting the same point of view to the people of Coventry Desecration? When people visit Coventry Cathedral, they perhaps don't realise exactly what it costs to keep the building going. Millions are spent annually on upkeep and overheads.

The financial burden is now so great, cathedral managers have resorted to money-making activities which should fill us all with shame.

On a recent Saturday the ruins of the old cathedral became the unlikely setting for Coventry University's end-of-term summer ball. Hundreds of students, many of them scantily clad, turned up for a night of drunken revelry.

It's shocking to think that these young people, on the brink of adulthood, were so oblivious to the sacrilege they were committing. Even more shocking is the thought that cathedral managers were allowing it to happen.

Only a few months earlier, Coventarians stood on the same hallowed ground to commemorate the Blitz. On that frosty November night, young and old stood together in silence, reflecting on the devastation and destruction, the huge loss of life which the ruins and famous charred cross have come to symbolise. As an air raid siren pierced the silence, few would have given much thought to the ignominious uses to which both the old and new cathedrals are now put.

In September, the British Education Research Association (BERA) held its annual conference dinner in the new cathedral. The interior was stripped out to make room for large circular tables, elegantly draped with white linen cloths.

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Cathedral's Money-Making Schemes Should Fill Us All with Shame. IS the Coventry Cathedral Allowing Too Many Commercial Events to Be Staged within Its Portals Which Have Little or Nothing to Do with Religion? VALERIE FLYNN, a Lecturer at a London University, Thinks It Does Believing It Amounts to "Desecration". YOUR Views
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